Monday, May 30, 2011

Is Sugar Toxic?

I just spent this morning watching this incredibly interesting lecture focussing on high fructose corn syrup specifically and it is very very interesting.  It is a lecture from the University of California by Dr Lustig. He presents it in an easy to understand manner...

As a result - I will not be buying any high fructose corn syrup again.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recommended Books

I've been getting a whole ton of books out of the library recently on this whole topic and really recommend them to you to read.  Really eye opening!  I have written reviews on them here

On just finishing 'The Body Toxic' now I admit I feel incredibly overwhelmed - you'll pick that up in my review.  Am kinda wishing I could live on another planet that man hasn't messed up so badly.  It just seems so unfair that few have determined the future health of the masses in not only this generation but future generations to come and all in the name of greed.  It's disgusting.

We are an ongoing human experiment - no better than guinea pigs with all this.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Surrounded By Toxic Plastic & Chemicals & No One Is Monitoring This!

I really had no idea just how much we are surrounded in plastic until now.  Seriously nearly everything is plastic right down to the sunglasses I wear... pens... coat hangers....  All this plastic emitting toxins into the air in our homes which we breathe in and get in our blood streams... what are we doing!?!

Today I spent a whole lot more time reading and researching and really as far as I'm concerned there is no going back on this for me now.  There is just too much condemning research and facts out there.   Too much for me to go into but just start here if you want more on toxins etc and prepare for some life altering facts.  I was focussing in on the cosmetics/personal care industry today and it's an industry that just isn't monitored at all and the fact that the contents in most products cause among other serious things birth defects and in particular reproductive malformations specifically in male children.

I really encourage you to start your own research into this topic. I can only share so much here and there are just so many books on green living and facts and research on what is REALLY going on.  It's really something every one needs to be aware of.  I just look back now and feel betrayed by those companies selling me products all those years and here I was trusting that they were really researching to get the best for me. I'd heard of making my own products but was so brainwashed that I felt I could never make anything as good as they'd make because that's what they do 24/7 - if only they really did! In reality anything I make with quality ingredients is 100 times better than the most expensive product in every way.  On learning more and finding even brands like Clinique who are meant to be making products for sensitive skin still having petroleum and mineral oil, parabens and sulphates that interfere with hormones  and other known carcinogens. It's just shameful and unnecessary and shows that the industry is just about marketing falsely and greed and I'm disgusted quite honestly.

On reading all this and trying to conceive as mentioned in a previous post, I just cannot, in good conscience continue living like we were.  I've been forced to go cold turkey and revert straight away to natural non toxic alternatives - which I might add are VERY good.  It scares me how so many are unaware of these dangers they unknowingly place on themselves and their children.

I don't even know what to do about sitting on our couch anymore knowing it is PVC with pthalates to soften it so it looks like leather - so is offgassing pthalates which affect my hormones and then there's the flame retardants also offgassing and the stain protectant.  All of this soaks into my skin if I touch it and is being breathed into my lungs.  Knowing every toxin that I absorb goes to my baby/uterus and that is proven... I just have to think carefully about everything from now on - because no one else is doing it for me.  The government has taken a back seat on this one and it's each to his own. So I urge you PLEASE look into this and don't take the vague answers that everything is safe from the major companies selling.  Look at the research that's out there and then make your decision.

As said earlier, my decision is made and there's no turning back.  The cost is too great to not make the change. Enough said.

Did You Know Plastic Can Affect Your Weight!?

Just found this article and had to share it.  Very thought provoking and again confirms my decision to eradicate plastics from our home;_ylt=AjqjrsXuppqNXGgCap0S7anJV8cX

Making own lotions - here's some links on how to make

I discovered these youtube videos last night which are excellent. I'm so excited about making my own creams and lotions now!!
Wanted to share them with you!

Make Your Own Face Cream

Make own shea butter cream - great for exzema

Make Your Own Hand Sanitiser

Make your own sunscreen

Make Your Own Vanilla Bodycream

So amazing how easy it is to make this stuff and there is a whole lot more on youtube so have fun!

My adventure with home made dishwashing liquid

Ok so I wash the dishes by hand all the time because we don't own a lot of dishes so don't have enough to do a full load each time, and the dishwashing liquid got chucked out with everything else.

Attempting to use Dr Bronners Peppermint on the dishes though really failed.  It just didn't cut the grease and the dishes seemed to still be greasy afterwards.  I tried adding vinegar to the mix and lemon juice but it just didn't work for me.  So instead I researched on non toxic eco dishwashing liquids and bought Ultra Dishmate which was highly recommended.

Used it last night and it's excellent! Cut grease and had the dishes all sparkling clean.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Non Toxic Deodorant Options

I thought I'd let you know a compilation of the different options that I've found in my research so far that are safe:

1.  Rubbing dry baking soda under your arms or make it into a paste with water and rub under arms (can add essential oil for scent)
2.  Dr Mist
3. Burts Bees Herbal Deoderant
4. Neals Yard (for those in UK)

Other brands offering safe non toxic products apparently (still check the ingredients list to be safe):
Dr Hauschka, Living Nature, Sumbody, Jasco, Miessence

If you look in a health food store, check the ingredients are all natural as I'm sure there are others also. Especially avoid Triclosan, aluminium and Propylene glycol ingredients in deoderant and ANY product.

The big clear out

Over the last couple of days I have been working my way through a pile of Green books I got out of the library that have been confirming and again urging me to take more action in making our home more non toxic.  The hardest part for me is that money has been spent on all these products - some unused and yet what do you do with them?  I can't bring myself to throw them away but then knowing what I know about them do I really want to give them to someone else who may not be informed on the dangers within them?  Yet I paid money for them and they are new?  Not sure what I will do - particularly right now with my husband and I not working, I have to be creative in what they are replaced with since we haven't the money to purchase different things.

However knowing what I know I cannot continue to use the products on my skin that I have been using, so out go the shampoos and yummy smelling shower gels.  I just heard my husband calling out from the shower 'where is the shampoo?' Oops!  I feel almost mean taking away his favorite shampoo but after reading what I've read about the toxins in shampoos I think he'll understand. Fortunately I had a more natural one already which we will now both use for the time being till I find more recipes.  I do have Dr Bronners Pure Castile Soap as a back up also.

I have removed all my Bath and Body works antibacterial soaps now (that triclosan in them is really bad!) and refilled the bottles with Dr Bronners.  I have started washing dishes (I wash by hand usually as we don't have enough to fill a dishwasher) with Dr Bronners also and am on the fence about whether it is cutting the grease well enough. Will research more on that as I might need to add some vinegar or lemon to the mix for that to be more effective.  I have been continuing to use the baking soda and vinegar to clean the toilet and that is going well and I am using vinegar on the counter tops followed by Hydrogen Peroxide and it seems good.  Hate the vinegar smell but it does dissipate.

I could barely get my nose out of one of the books in particular which I plan to buy and highly recommend to you. It's called 'Ecoholic' by Adria Vasil.  I reviewed it in my Book Reviews blog, but it is really really good!  She basically went through every room dealing with every area.

A huge Boston fern now has it's home in our living area also so hopefully that will help to remove formeldehyde and other toxins from the air.

I'm still very concerned about our furniture however.  We spend so much time in our living area and just knowing our couch and upholstered chairs with the dining table are PVC softened with pthalates offgassing chemicals, as well as knowing they also offgas the fire retardants they are soaked in as well as stain protection chemicals.  I'm trying not to be paranoid about it but I am very aware of it now.  I really don't know what we'll do about that right now.  For now, I just make sure I cover the surfaces with a blanket and sit on that - hoping that helps a bit.

And then there is the bed.  I read that the polyurethane foam in mattresses is so explosively flammable that the insurance industry calls it 'solid gasoline'.  *sigh*  Then there is the synthetic comforter and pillows...

We are trying to conceive right now and I just shudder at all the dangers in our home.  Hopefully these steps will eliminate the toxins substantially in my body so our child will have a chance...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Article from todays paper on GM food toxins found in unborn baby blood

I have to share this article with you from The Daily Mail online (UK).

GM Food toxins found in blood of 93% of unborn babies

To me this is really scary and backs up this whole move I'm making to get rid of chemicals/toxins/pesticides from our home as much as possible.

I'm not sure what to do about it as living in USA everything has been genetically modified. My husband and I have been going to the farmers market and I'm starting to think we may have to exclusively go there.  I don't know if I want to risk anything else, particularly when we hope to be pregnant soon.  I really want to protect my unborn child.

Feel free to add your comments on this article below!

Thanks again for reading this!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Synthetic Fragrances = BAD! Please avoid as much as possible!

I have always been a 'smells' person - very sensitive to smells.  Due to this, I imagine, I have always loved beautiful scented things ie laundry liquid, moisturiser, hair shampoo and conditioner and I've even been known to select toilet cleaner based on it's smell - yes it's true! lol.  So this new information was not too happily accepted for me.

To sum it up - synthetic fragrances have pthalates and pthalates are hormone/endocrine disruptors.  It is especially bad if you spray fragrances as they go into the air you breathe and straight into your lungs which gets immediately absorbed into your body. Scary.  I read in 'Planet Home' by Jeffrey Hollender that we should never spray anything into the air - always into a cloth to prevent it from being breathed in.

The only safe fragrances in anything, even perfume *sob*, are essential oil based fragrances.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news with this... for me this is devastating truth but necessary so I will delve into essential oils to satisfy my longing for nice smells!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bamboo is not a green choice for clothing at all!

I just finished reading a fantastic book that I highly recommend called 'Planet Earth' by Jeffrey Hollender and in it, amongst the other wealths of fantastic information, he brought to my attention the situation with bamboo.  Now Bamboo fabric is marketed in my understanding as a green choice - non toxic/organic etc however it is not this or very rarely.  Apparently bamboo is rayon or similar to in some cases and is treated with Sodium Hydroxide and many other very toxic chemicals!

I just found further information here if you're interested in more specifics.

I guess those bamboo baby sheets I bought thinking they were safe and non toxic will be heading back where they came from pretty quickly.  Crazy how we're so deceived by clever marketing.

Aside from this apparently it is still good for chopping boards because of its natural antibacterial qualities and I'm sure other things - just not the fabric unless it's been processed by hand naturally without the chemicals.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My first actual attempt using natural cleaners

It has officially started in our household!

Today I cleaned the toilet using this recipe and all looks good! Loved the huge fizzing action mixing the two created in the bowl.  The bowl came up white and sparkling as a result, looks the same as other products I've used so I'm happy.  (Note: our toilet is kept fairly clean though so I didn't have any rings to get off etc so can't comment on how this works on that)

Baking Soda and Vinegar Cleaner

  • 1
    Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of baking soda around the bowl of the toilet.
  • 2
    Pour 1 cup vinegar around the toilet bowl.
  • 3
    Scrub the toilet lightly to spread the cleaner around.
  • 4
    Allow the cleaner to sit for five minutes.
  • 5
    Scrub the toilet again.
  • 6
    Flush the toilet to rinse away the cleaner.


Cleaning With Hydrogen Peroxide

The Green Wife posted this on her blog not long ago and I found it really helpful so wanted to pass it, the more options the better in my mind.  My mother absolutely loves Hydrogen Peroxide and uses it for everything - and it's so cheap!  Here goes from the mouth of The Green Wife:
Hydrogen peroxide has overtaken vinegar as my go-to cleaning agent around my home.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love and use my spray bottle of vinegar frequently, but peroxide makes me feel like my house is so very germ-free!  It’s such a wonderful cleanser, bleaching agent and antiseptic that I find myself reaching for it all kinds of reasons. 
Everyone knows that peroxide is a naturally occurring substance, but do you know where it actually comes from?  I wasn’t sure, so I consulted Wikipedi and this is what I found:
“Hydrogen peroxide is naturally produced in organisms as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism. Nearly all living things possess enzymes known as peroxidases, which harmlessly and catalytically decompose low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.”
Very interesting.
The peroxide I keep around is simply the 3% that you’ll find in those 99 cent brown bottles in your pharmacy.  Cheap, readily available, natural and antiseptic….are you sold yet?
So, now that we have that in our brains, let’s talk about some of my favorite uses for this liquid gold…
  • Keep a 50/50 mix of peroxide and water in a spray bottle in your bathroom and spray down your shower walls, knobs and faucets to keep them sparkling and germ-free.
  • Make a paste of peroxide and baking soda as a whitening scrub for porcelain bathtubs.  Your tub has never been so white and germ-free!
  • Keep another 50/50 mix in your kitchen for wiping down counters, tables  and sinks.
  • After rinsing your wooden cutting boards, pour straight peroxide onto them to kill bacteria left behind from your food.
  • Use it to rinse produce to remove harsh chemicals and residual dirt.
  • Rinse your mouth with a capful of straight peroxide by swishing for several minutes 2-3 times a week. .  This will not only whiten teeth, but fight nasty bad-breath causing germs.
  • Peroxide breaks down proteins, so it’s wonderful for getting blood stains out of clothes.  Just be careful because it is also capable of removing color from fabric.
  • Clean your laminate or linoleum floors with a 50/50 peroxide/water mixture for floors so clean you could eat off of them!
Please….wear gloves when using hydrogen peroxide!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Plants To Clean Your Air In Your Home

Here's a list of plants that clean the air inside your home and also help with toxins and Electro Magnetic Fields from Laptops/wireless etc:

Removes low level concentrations of formaldyhyde.  It grows best if near a window getting full sun. Let it dry out between watering

Removes formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide from the air.  Also removes trichloroethylene from the air. It also removes odors, bacteria and virus's, gases, acetone etc.  Absorbs Electro Magnetic Fields so keep near computers etc.  Keep it out of direct sunlight and water once a week.

Best for removing formaldehyde at high concentrations.  Don't soak it, let it dry between waterings.  Keep them out of direct sunlight too.

They remove neurotoxic VOCs toulene and zylene from the air.  Place these near your computer screens, around new carpeting, paints, photocopying machines or upholstery.  They need bright indirect sun. Keep moist

Clear formaldehyde

Removes formaldehyde

Removes benzene from the air

Removes benzene from the air and trichloroethylene.  It tolerates shade and prefers moisture and well drained soil.

In NASA's top three for removing the three main toxins in indoor air - formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.  Also absorb EMFs so keep them near electronic devices like TV, computer etc

Removes trichloroethylene from air

Removes benzene from the air


One of the top three according to NASA to remove formaldehyde from the air

Removes benzene

Removes formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia from the air.  It also humidifies the air.

Is in NASAs top three for removing all three toxins from the indoor air - formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene

Are excellent at absorbing EMFs so keep them by your laptops, mobiles etc.

Clean Home Green Home by Kimberly Delaney
The Complete Idiots Guide To Green Cleaning 2nd Edition

Info On Natural Cleaners To Consider Switching To

This is a list of the main natural cleaners you can use in your home. Most are non toxic with the exception of the borax which you may or may not choose to use. I am undecided on borax at the moment - I will see if it's necessary down the track more.  There is so much more that can be said for each one... I've just picked what stood out to me from what I have read.

You need to have white vinegar and not brown as that one will stain.  Yes it smells strong but actually the smell goes away pretty quickly.
What it does:
* loosens dirt, disinfects and deoderises (ie removes smells)
* removes mineral deposits, stains and tarnish
* eliminates static cling when added to the rinse cycle of your washing machine
* Kills 99% of bacteria, 82% mould, 80% of germs.

Lemon juice cuts grease, polishes metal and freshens things up.  It's great to disinfect chopping boards with also.  Just don't use it on marble!

BAKING SODA (also known as Bi Carbonate Of Soda  or 100% Sodium Bicarbonate)
Baking Soda is a great scrubber and won't damage surfaces.  It absorbs odor - many people keep a box in their fridge to absorb any food smells.  You can add it to your wash cycle to soften fabric.  If you mix it with vinegar it makes a fizz and cleanes toilets and clears blocked drains... this is only a fraction of what baking soda is good for...

It is made only from vegetable oil instead of animal fat.  If you dilute it with water it is a great all purpose cleaner, laundry or dish soap, spot remover and body wash liquid.
Pure castile soap is non petroleum based so this is really safe to use everywhere in your home.

This is more caustic so you need to wear gloves and keep this one away from children.  The advantage of borax is you can add it to the wash for extra cleaning or brightening of your cloths or to scrub stubborn stains on counters or bathtubs.  Borax is also used to disinfect or whiten cloth diapers.
It's a highly effective mould killer and toilet bowl cleaner

Hydrogen Peroxide is an all purpose cleaner also in the same way vinegar is except be mindful that it also replaces bleach in your cleaning routines so be careful what you use it on as it may remove colour.  Keep in mind to wear gloves though and generally you will always make a mix 50/50 with water to dilute it a bit.  It can remove blood stains out of clothes but be careful with it as it can remove colour from them also. It kills bacteria, removes chemicals so rinse your fresh produce in it, wipe chopping boards with it to disinfect and as mentioned above it replaces bleach so can whiten your clothes. (Another way to whiten clothes avoiding bleach is to line dry them in the sun - the sun is a great whitener!)

Recipes for Skin Care Products - Make your own!!

Following are some skin care product recipes I copied from (there are a lot more there but I just picked out the basics and ones I plan on trying).  It all looks so straightforward. I will definitely post in here when I try them... and would love to hear from you how they went if you try them before I get to!  As a beginner I have yet to experiment with essential oil blends so will stick to theirs initially anyway...though if you know more you can obviously create your own combinations according to your preferences in smell.

4 tbspoons castile soap
3 teaspoons avocado oil
4 drops bergamot
4 drops lemon
4 drops petitgrain
Combine and shake before use. Store in glass jar in dark place.

CLEANSING CREAM (to remove makeup)
1 tbspn beeswax (grated)
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
1 tbspn distilled water
3 drops frankincense
2 drops Lavender
3 drops Neroli
1. Melt beeswax and oil together in a jug over a pot of simmering water.
2. Warm the water in the same way in a different container over simmering water
3.  Add warm water to wax drop by drop, when half way through water remove from heat and whisk while adding the rest
4. When thickens add the essential oils

(the above process with melting the beeswax is used in a lot of the following products so just refer to this one for that process)

(make this one immediately before use - don't store it)
4 Tbsp almond meal
1 tsp fresh grated orange zest
natural yoghurt
2 tbs clear honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 drops cinnamon oil
3 drops orange
Melt the honey and mix it altogether to make a thick paste.

1/2 cup distilled water
1/2 cup rosewater
3 drops chamomile
2 drops geranium
3 drops lavender
Add in a bottle and shake before use

FACIAL OIL (for night in place of moisturiser)
 2 Tbsp avocado oil
1 Tbs jojoba oil
1 Tbs rosehip oil
3 drops jasmine
2 drops sandalwood
3 drops ylang ylang
Shake before use

2 tsp beeswax grated
1 tsp shea butter
4 Tbsp apricot oil
1 tsp carrot infused oil
5 drops spearmint or orange or mandarin essential oil
Melt beeswax, shea butter and apricot oil over simmering water like process above.  Add the rest

1 Tbs beeswax grated
1 tsp avocado oil
3 tsp carrot infused oil
1/4 cup rose water
1. Simmer to melt wax and oils over water as process above
2. Seperately simmer rosewater over water to warm like process above
3. Slowly add rosewater and mix with whisk

1 tbs beeswax grated
1/4 cup jojoba oil
1/3 cup avocado oil
1 tsp vitamin E oil
1 Tbsp rosewater
3 drops carrot oil
4 drops of fennel oil
5 drops rosemary oil
1. Simmer wax and oils as process above
2. Simmer rosewater to warm as process above
3. Once wax and oils melted add vitamin E
4. Add rosewater drop by drop in same way as above process. Whisking at end

5 Tbs shea butter
3 tbs jojoba oil
2 tbs beeswax
2 tbsp sweet almond oil
1 tbs avocado oil
12 drops lavender oil
8 drops geranium oil
6 drops sandalwood oil
6 drops rose oil
1. Melt butter, oil, wax, oils over simmering water in process as above. Remove from heat when melted
2. Before it thickens add essential oils and stir.
3. Leave to set overnight

Happy making! I think it's quite liberating to feel able to make my own skin care products - not to mention saving a WHOLE lot of money.  The key is finding nice jars to keep it in now :-)

Pollution In Your community

Had to post this! It's something I found from a book I was reading on organic lifestyles and what you do is you put in your zip code and it tells you pollution levels/toxins, how the water supply is.  It gives you a map of your region showing air pollution and all sorts of things.  Have a look! It is pretty scary though!

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